Americans Beat Russians Bigtime!

10/28/1997 at 12:00 AM EST

In one of the most startling upsets in Olympic wrestling history, Wyoming-born Rulon Gardner, 29 (and 286 pounds), beat Russia's Alexander Karelin (known as the "World's Meanest Man") in Sydney yesterday. This marked the Russian's first defeat in an international competition, and he's been competing since 1987. In other news from Down Under, tennis champ Venus Williams took the gold and won her 32nd match in a row Wednesday by beating her Russian opponent Elena Dementieva, 6-2, 6-4. "It was really great," said Williams about the moment when she bowed her head and had the medal placed on her shoulders.

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